DEAR FRANCES By Frances H. Kakugawa

Dear Frances,

So, what did you get from your mother this past Christmas?

Lilly

Hawai‘i

Dear Readers . . . Lilly is referring to a story I shared with you some time ago in this column.

Lilly . . . you will find the answer to your question at the end of my reply. Thank you for remembering and for asking.

Before my mother developed Alzheimer’s, we had a ritual. Every Christmas, I walked into the house with a gift to myself . . . a new outfit, a pair of shoes or some jewelry. This was our conversation as I cajoled my mother into paying for it.

Me: Do you want to give me this for Christmas?

Mother: Sure. How much?

No matter what price I stated, she always said, “Only that much?! You have a good job and you can’t even pay for your own present?“ (I was a teacher; she packed flowers at a farm).

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